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11-15 February - Pregnancy Awareness Week

11-15 February - Pregnancy Awareness Week

Pregnancy Awareness Week aims to create awareness, promote and educate public about pregnancy, enhance healthy pregnancies so that women can have healthy babies.

According to medicalnewstoday.com, pregnancy involves changes that will significantly impact a woman's body. It states most pregnancies last for about 280 days, but they can last anywhere from 37 to about 42 weeks, starting from the first day of the last period.

Importance of pregnancy education

The Health Department advises women who suspect that they may be pregnant should schedule a visit to their healthcare provider to begin prenatal care. Prenatal visits to a health care provider include a physical exam, weight checks, and providing a urine sample.

Other useful recommendations include:

  1. eating healthy food such as fruits, vegetables, protein, whole-grains and lots of water
  2. avoiding taking unhealthy substances - substances such as cigarettes, alcohol and drugs as this damage the unborn baby and may result in premature, disabled and underweight babies
  3. engaging in exercise and physical activities such as walking, water aerobics and gentle forms of yoga. are often most enjoyable for pregnant women
  4. getting tested pregnant women need to nearest health facility to be tested for diseases such as HIV/AIDS, diabetes, hypertension or  anaemia, german measles and syphilis
  5. have someone such as partner or other family members who you can rely on for emotional support during pregnancy

Pregnant women can also get get useful information during pregnancy at MomConnect.  MomConnect is a Department of Health initiative which aims to provide information and tips relating to maternal and child health services especially to pregnant  women through the use of cell phone  -based technologies.

MomConnect can be accessed at http://www.health.gov.za/index.php/mom-connect

Services